Monday, May 30, 2016

Adventures with Hash Browns

I have some skills. Maybe not in chopping wood or carrying the canoe long distances. But I can sew, knit, bake and cook pretty good. Except I always need to follow a pattern or a recipe. Whenever I ad lib, it never goes well.

On our last trip to Grand Lake we had some store bought hash browns and they were yummy. However I purchased them on my last trip to the USA at a Target store. I haven't seen the same product here. So I decided to try to recreate the same item using potatoes and my dehydrator.

My inspiration - these were yummy and easy to make while camping
I bought 1.075 kg of yellow gold potatoes. I selected 3 really nice ones. I brought them home, peeled them, and ran them through my food processor using the grating blade. I parboiled them before placing them on the dehydrator trays using the screens (not the liners).

Once they were dried they didn't look anything like the store-bought hash browns. I was prepared for this to be a failure. I ended up with 85 grams of dried potatoes.

My dehydrated potatoes
Comparison with the purchased product (1/4 cup for perspective)
In order to test out whether they would taste okay, I decided to make some for breakfast today. Here's where things went a bit wonky. The purchased hash browns weigh in at 85 grams - the same as my 3 potatoes. That seemed like an awful lot. Granted, the purchased product contains 4 portions and LT and I wolfed them down between us.  But when I started portioning out what I would make for myself, I stopped at 15 grams of my dried potatoes.

I put them in a small bowl and covered with boiling water. My plan was to just dump out the excess liquid, being in my home kitchen this was easy to do. After waiting about 10 minutes (the same time the package instructions recommends), I put some butter in the frypan and tossed the drained potatoes in to cook.

Before - they really did expand back to a good size
One of the struggles we had making these on our trip was the tiny camping spatula I have. At home I have a much bigger one. But it was still tricky to flip them. I think I need to have the patience to just let it cook and blend into a more solid mass than flipping them too early.
After - totally delicious!
This was very yummy and I now have a new item to add to my camping food menu. The one tweak I will try is adding some dehydrated chopped onions to them for flavour. The packaged hash browns have onion powder added. I just have to remember to portion out a smaller amount than the package size of 85 grams!

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